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Recently Adopted PERS Administrative Rules

2017 Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Annual Limitations
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revises various dollar limits annually based on cost-of-living adjustments. These revisions are used throughout the PERS plan’s statutes and rules, but revisions to the limits must be adopted by the legislature or PERS Board to be effective.
The adopted rule modifications incorporate these federal adjustments and are necessary to ensure compliance with the IRC’s limits on the amount of annual compensation allowed for determining contributions and benefits, annual benefits, and annual additions to PERS.
Board Adoption: 01/27/2017
Effective:           01/27/2017
Text:                 459-005-0525
                        PERS Board Adoption Memo
Reemployed Retired Members

By statute, a Tier One or Tier Two retired member who returns to PERS-covered employment may continue to receive their retirement benefits so long as they work less than 1,040 hours in a calendar year. However, hour limits are not imposed on retired members who qualify for certain exceptions provided in statute.

During the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions, three bills were adopted regarding the statutory exceptions to the hourly limit. Two bills amended existing statutory exceptions to extend the sunset dates, and one bill created a new exception for retired members employed as a teacher of career and technical education. A summary of those bills is provided below:

House Bill 2684 (2015) extended return-to-work exceptions for Tier One and Tier Two retired members who are employed by public employers as nursing instructors or as trainers for the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). The exception was scheduled to expire January 2, 2016, but was extended to January 2, 2026.

House Bill 3058 (2015) established a new exception to the hourly limitation for retired Tier One and Tier Two retired members who are re-employed by school districts or education service districts as teachers of career and technical education (CTE). Retired members must be certified by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) as teachers of CTE. The exception is effective from June 18, 2015, through June 30, 2018.

House Bill 4022 (2016) reinstated the exemption that had expired for Tier One or Tier Two retired members who are employed by school districts or education service districts to provide services as speech-language pathologists or speech-language pathologist assistants. The bill applies to hours worked by retired members on or after January 1, 2016, and is set to expire January 2, 2026.

In addition, staff added the existing exception provided in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 238.088, which had been inadvertently omitted. This exception allows certain appointed public officials to work unlimited hours if they are elected or appointed in a county with a population of fewer than 75,000 inhabitants, under certain conditions.

Finally, staff updated the federal Social Security annual compensation limits on earnings for 2017, which were recently published in October 2016. Under ORS 238.082(3), retired members receiving benefits under the Social Security Act may be employed for up to the number of hours for which their salary equals the annual Social Security compensation limit, or up to 1040, whichever is greater.

This rule will be filed in the office of the Secretary of State on January 1, 2017, the date the new Social Security annual compensation limits go into effect. The rule is effective upon filing as set forth in ORS 183.355.

Board Adoption: 11/18/2016
Effective:           01/01/2017
Text:                 459-017-0060
                        PERS Board Adoption Memo


Accounts Receivable - Fraud
Fraud detection is an important part of PERS’ fiduciary duty of ensuring that benefits are properly paid. It is also consistent with our mission "to pay the right person the right benefit at the right time." While PERS has, unfortunately, dealt with fraud situations as they have arisen, it has not previously had a formal process for fraud detection, investigation, and resolution. Historically, PERS has dealt with cases of fraud mainly as a collection matter under ORS 238.715. However, ORS 238.715(8) also recognizes that the recovery and collection remedies authorized under ORS 238.715 are supplemental to any other remedies that may be available.
The purpose of this new rule is to emphasize that PERS will actively pursue all available legal remedies in cases of fraud. These legal remedies include but are not limited to bringing civil actions under ORS 180.755 against individuals who have committed any of the enumerated acts against PERS, such as presenting for payment or approval, or cause to be presented for payment or approval, a claim that the individual knows is a false claim; and pursuing criminal charges against individuals who have defrauded or attempted to defraud PERS by committing criminal acts of perjury, mail theft, forgery, and/or identity theft as these crimes are defined under Chapters 162, 164, and 165 of the Oregon Revised Statutes.
Board Adoption: 09/30/2016
Effective:           09/30/2016
Text:                 459-005-0260
                        PERS Board Adoption Memo


Receipt Date

(1) Modifies the date that imaged items are deemed filed and received from three business days to one business day before the imaged date; and (2) Change the date that items recorded on PERS' daily cash receipts log and/or check log are considered received to one business day before the recorded date on the cash receipts log and/or check log.
Board Adoption: 07/29/2016
Effective:           07/29/2016
Text:                  459-005-0220
                         PERS Board Adoption Memo
When the definition of "effective date of withdrawal" was adopted, proof of age was not required. In 2012, PERS beganrequiring that OPSRP Pension Program members present documentation to verify their age as part of the withdrawal process; however, PERS did not amend corresponding administrative rules to reflect the change in practice. This created some confusion about whether the proof of age was a required "completed document" or was merely part of the withdrawal process.
It is not uncommon that OPSRP members provide proof of age after they have submitted the withdrawal application.. If the "effective date of withdrawal" does not occur by rule until the proof of age is received (i.e., the proof of age is required to consider the application a "completed document"), a mandatory repayment could be triggered if the member has subsequently returned to work with a participating employer before PERS receives proof of age to complete the application.
Modifying the definition clarifies that the "effective date of withdrawal" is to be based on receipt of the completed application only; if proof of age is required and not submitted until later, the effective date will still be the date of the application. To further clarify, the modification to OAR 459-075-0020 reflects PERS' practice and states that PERS will not process the withdrawal payment until proof of age is received.
PERS accepts information obtained from the DMV as proof of age as required in OAR 459-075-0020(7). If a member's age cannot be verified through the DMV, the member must submit a valid proof of age before the withdrawal will be processed.
Further rule modifications allow PERS to cancel the member's withdrawal application if required items are not submitted within 180 days after submitting the withdrawal application. This has been our practice and is explained in the withdrawal application packet instructions. If the application is cancelled, members may resubmit the application as long as they remain separated from PERS-covered employment.
IAP withdrawals are processed simultaneously with OPSRP Pension withdrawals, so these rule modifications reference that the OSPRP Pension withdrawal documentation requirements also pertain to an IAP withdrawal application. Consequently, if an OPSRP Pension member's withdrawal is delayed or canceled because the required items are not timely submitted, then their IAP withdrawal will be similarly impacted.
Board Adoption: 05/27/2016
Effective:           05/27/2016
Text:                 459-005-0001
                        PERS Board Adoption Memo
Fee Schedule for Medical Records Requests
PERS regularly requests copies of medical records for disability eligibility determinations, ongoing reviews, appeals, and contested case hearings. The rate at which PERS reimburses medical providers for medical records has varied over time, and has not always been consistently applied. This rule will establish a published reimbursement schedule for requested medical records, providing consistency in the reimbursement we will pay providers of these records.
Board Adoption: 01/29/2016
Effective:           01/29/2016
Text:                  459-005-0605
                        PERS Board Adoption Memo
Rulemaking Notice Procedure       
OAR 459-001-0000 sets forth the procedure for noticing the adoption, amendment, and repeal of administrative rules. The current rule, however, stipulates that notices of rulemaking will be sent via postal mail and lists a limited group of interested parties and employers as recipients of the rulemaking notices. The proposed rule modifications update the mailing requirement to conform to agency practice of emailing notices unless the recipient requests a postal mailing. The incomplete list of employers and interested parties has been removed, and section (2) has been updated to indicate that notices of rulemaking will be provided to all persons and organizations who request to receive the notices.
Board Adoption: 01/29/2016
Effective:           01/29/2016
Text:                 459-001-0000
                        PERS Board Adoption Memo